CHICAGO - Jacob deGrom was outpitched by journeyman Adrian Sampson, and the frustrated New York Mets mustered little on offense again Tuesday night in a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Ian Happ homered deep into the second deck on a 99 mph heater from deGrom (5-2), and No. 9 batter David Bote added his second home run of the season for the Cubs (60-82), who won the series opener 5-2 on Monday.
One night later, the scuffling Mets squandered another potential chance to increase their slim NL East lead over Atlanta, which played later in San Francisco. New York is 5-6 in a 16-game stretch against Washington, Pittsburgh, Miami and Chicago — all more than 20 games under .500 this season.
Pete Alonso barely missed a two-run homer in the first inning when it hooked just foul, and the slugger slammed down his bat after drawing a walk.
That appeared to tick off Sampson, and the two exchanged words before umpires spoke directly to each of them.
Alonso launched his 34th homer in the ninth against Brandon Hughes, who got five outs to finish it. New York managed only four hits against three Cubs pitchers and was booed a bit by the Citi Field crowd of 26,435.
Sampson (2-5) allowed two hits and four walks in six shutout innings. He struck out three.
The 30-year-old righty is pitching for his third major league team in five seasons, plus a shaky 2020 year in the Korean Baseball Organization. He had never thrown six scoreless innings in the majors before, though he’s fared well on the mound this month.
Happ homered leading off the second. Aided by catcher James McCann’s throwing error, Chicago scored twice off deGrom in the fourth on Yan Gomes’ sacrifice fly and Patrick Wisdom’s safety squeeze.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner struck out 10 in six innings. He gave up three runs and four hits without a walk.
Bote went deep against reliever Seth Lugo in the seventh to make it 4-0.
Cubs: SS Nico Hoerner (triceps) was feeling better and planned to go through a little light baseball activity before the game to determine if he could be available off the bench. ... RHP Keegan Thompson, on the 15-day injured list since Aug. 20 with lower back tightness, is expected to make a minor league rehab start Friday. ... LHP Steven Brault (shoulder strain) threw a bullpen. ... LHP Justin Steele (low back strain) threw a bullpen Monday that went as expected. He is eligible to come off the injured list Saturday.